Eeextra! Eeextra! Read all about it!
And with that immortal slogan, the ever-so-mortal Daffid Grommie brought the Iganefta Recorder out of the fog of regional obscurity and into the blinding daylight of full-fledged inter-newspaper circulation war.
Ancient Aspictual History
The paper was orginally founded in -103 EC by Thoedore Aspic, the unfortunate son of the keeper of a small dry-goods shop in Ciruthwaite, one of the more humble neighborhoods of Iganefta. The family's only claim to fame was that Aspic's mother had invented a novel method of serving meats for summer parties: rather than simple slices of cold cuts, Mrs. Aspic served her cold chicken, pork and mute chukarandos in a quivery semi-solid sort of gel. She originally flavored the substance with various fruit and fake fruit extracts and dyed it in all sort of striking colors, but after the local religious authorities reacted with skeptism and mild disgust, she settled on a clear, flavorless version. To this substance she gave her name, and "chukarando aspic" remain haute cuisine in certain Ghyllian backwaters to this day.
It was to commemorate this pinnacle of culinary innovation that young Thoedore published the first issue of the Iganefta Recorder. The issue featured hand-colored illustrations by his younger sister, the talented Miss Haether Aspic, and the following poem by the publisher himself, fully illustrated and suitable for framing:
Oh Aspic! cold, gelatinous
Your flavor is unu-
With mute chukarando
All three copies sold out within minutes of printing.
Over the next 10 years, the paper more than quadrupled its circulation, breaking such stories as the discovery of a new cache of ancient Avazian Box advertisements. (Alas, the advertisements were later proved to be a hoax from circa -200 EC, as was reported much later in the early issues of the Folktown Records.) Nevertheless, the paper remained decidedly regional until it changed publishers in -93 EC.
Daffid Grommie lived down the street from the Aspic household in Iganefta, although he was 5 years older than young Thoedore. Grommie was a member of the Dreadhill Divers, a stealth-guild inspired by the recent exploits of the Endlessly Rising Staircase Movement. The Divers' aspired mainly to create "artistic chaos" and on one fateful day in Ikk, -93 EC, they decided this goal would be best achieved by means of a cookery crusade. Grommie offered to lead the crusade, and marched the whole group over to the Aspic's property. There, they proceeded to paint the entire house and half of the outbuilding with Mrs. Aspic's own aspic, and positioned several stuffed mute chukarandos artfully lounging on the veranda. They were in the middle of coating the chukarandos with more aspic when Thoedore arrived home.
He was flabbergasted by the outrage committed upon his beloved dwelling of 18 years. Calmly, Thoedore walked up to Grommie, removed his glove, and slapped Daffid across the face with it. Thence followed a duel in which Aspic, although his courage was impeccable, was proved sadly lacking in marksmenship and as punishment for the impertinance of challenging a man so clearly his superior, Aspic (with the paint splotches still painfully visible on the lapels of his black velvet suit) was forced to rescind control of the Iganefta Recorder to Grommie.
And the rest is history...
Grommie orginally thought to use the paper as the mouthpiece for the Dreadhill Divers, but after examining the paper's back issues, he realized that it was far more lucrative to become part of the rising bourgoisie than to fight it. Through his shrewd business sense and reputation for backbiting, Daffid Grommie turned the subregional journal into a worthy rival of the more popular newspapers of the time, and has managed to stay strong against the upstart Folktown Records.
Upon Daffid's death in -41 EC, his cunning and ruthless son Rikkard Grommie assumed control of the paper. Under Rikkard's watch the Recorder expanded yet more. It increased its sway over public opinion. In fact, at one point it was even said that "A politician not in the Recorderis a politician not in office."
Rikkard was also instigator of the infamous Bindlet Ball bet of -11 EC with rival newspaperman Indigo Huac. Huac, the owner of the Folktown Records actually supported the winning team, the Egron Eagles, but in a fit of backwards logic, bet Rikkard that the Glossfordshire Maurlons would win. On the 12th of Jole of the year -11 EC, the Eagles proved true to their stalwart fan, and lost him the bet. As penalty, Huac ran front page ads for the Iganefta Recorder in the Folktown Records for the entire month of Kendrit. To this day, the Huac family holds a deep-seated grudge against those "slimy, upstart, Iganeftan, yellow-bellied excuse for a 3rd rate paper Grommies." And I quote.
--Lady Aleksandra 20:22, 22 Jul 2005 (EDT)